Review: Dirty Dancing, Leeds Grand Theatre

Dirty Dancing - Emily Holt and Paul-Michael Jones
Dirty Dancing - Emily Holt and Paul-Michael Jones

The hit film Dirty Dancing has stormed onto the stage at Leeds Grand and is smashing box office records.

Such is its popularity, bosses at the theatre have added another show to its four-week run to cope with the demand for tickets.

And the show deserves all the hype it has been getting - a cleverly-produced version of the cult film which will not disappoint diehard fans.

Following the love story of Baby (Emily Holt) and Johnny (Paul-Michael Jones - who has previously played Jack in Jack and the Beanstalk at the Victoria Theatre in Halifax), the play is full of romance as well as laughter as the pair fall for each other as Johnny teaches Baby to dance.

Emily Holt performed Baby’s lack of dancing ability with great humour and was uncannily like the original, Jennifer Grey.

and her admirer Neil Kellerman (played by Joe Evans) was hilarious in his dancing attempts.

Stand out dancer however was the incredibly impressive Charlotte Gooch, who played Johnny’s dance teacher colleague Penny Johnson whose skills were breathtaking.

The set was a delight, with clever use of projection screens throughout - and providing the water for the infamous “lift” practising scene.

The audience whooped with delight all through the show and cheered even louder at the grand finale when “no-one puts Baby in the corner”.

Thomas Aldridge (who played Billy Kostecki) and ensemble member Aimee Atkinson sang a pitch-perfect and goosepimple-raising (I’ve Had) The Time of My Life.

Judging by the reacion from the crowd - and the standing ovation at the end - Dirty Dancing is in for an exciting run at Leeds Grand.

It’s a sheer treat to see such a classic film acted out in front of your eyes with such skill and talent.

Dirty Dancing is on target to become Leeds Grand’s biggest selling show of all time - so if you’ve not bought your tickets yet, snap some up quickly.

It runs until Saturday June 23.

Tickets are still available and are priced from £15 to £48.50.

Book through the Grand Theatre box office on 0844 848 2705 or online at